Sunday, August 1, 2010

Man Cave

So, I've made promise after promise after promise to Bones that I would update the blog to show off the progress he has made on Hudson Mills Manor. But I haven't done it.

Until now.

Look at me! I'm blogging!

But the fact is, Bones was more motivated to work on the house if he thought I would be showing off what he did. Seeing as I'm supposed to be some sort of "writer" or "journalist," it's probably for the best that I keep up. So with no further ado...


Man cave! Man cave! Man cave!

Much like Scruffy, that's just the name that stuck. We are far more creative than the way we name things might let on.

But anyway, here are a few deets.

One of the most important is how difficult it was to get this up. Not in the building sense, but in the red tape sense. Have you ever been red tagged? Meaning that your local government has been snooping in your backyard and discovered that you are building illicit things there?

And by "illicit things" I mean tiny little rooms on the back of your garage.

Red tags suck.

You have to stop building and start going to zoning board meetings.
And by "stop building" I mean cover the work you continue to do with a tarp.

It currently looks unfinished on the inside, which is why I'm refraining from inside shots for now. However, Bones ran the cable out there and we have electricity from the garage.

We had a good thing going with a little TV/DVD player and a refrigerator, but then a storm caused a power surge rendering both appliances useless. Unfortunately, this has lessened the amount of time we hang out there.

Eventually, I would like it to be like a little cabin in the winter. It really has a lovely view. So lovely, I plan on using it as a yoga studio once I can step out in the yard barefoot again without fear of freezing off any toes.

Besides the interior not quite being finished, there is another reason. It comes in the form of a couch, a couch that our neighbor across the street gave us. To save y'all's eyesight, I will only post a small portion of said couch.

It's upside down, but that's how it is on the couch.

Anyway, to help cleanse your visual palate, here is Scruffy checking to see if your eyes are bloodshot after you came home after curfew. (Photo by Jessica Webster Sendra)

You are going to be in such trouble.

Coming up: We go into the closet and other fun!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


We have cabinet doors! Beautiful cabinet doors of curly maple and cherry. I don't have much else to say, except that we may someday put knobs on them. Bones worked really hard and put in a lot of time designing and making these, and I think it shows. They really brighten the kitchen. So, without further ado, please enjoy Bones's handiwork...

I put this photo in because Bones made those backsplash tiles out of wood. Pretty cool.

Please don't forget that we're still looking for donations for the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Even a couple of bucks will help. Here's the link: Sponsor Scruffy!

Friday, April 3, 2009

In Progress

It's Spring! Which around these parts is short for "Spring into action!" Bones has been motivated and moving and shaking. He is everywhere lately, working up in the studio, out in the tool shop, in the sun room and down in the basement. He has two very important projects in the works. The first is somewhat of a meta project in that he is redoing his tool shop. I'll save that for another post, so you'll probably see that sometime next year at the rate I'm going.

I'm most excited about his second project...

Cabinet doors! Finally! Obviously they aren't finished, I just wanted to put them in context. I tried to model them next to Scruffy, but I accidentally bumped him with one and he ran. Anyway, I'm sure you can see where these are going. The next time you see them, they will be finished and hung and you will no longer be able to see the various cleansing agents that I use to keep the house one step above general disarray.

I, too, have a project in progress. However, mine is on hold until after the semester. That's right...

More curtains! Here's a detail:

These were done using a process called batiking. I painted melted wax onto the cloth, then dyed it. What I have here is a very basic example. We're going for a Caribbean theme for our bedroom, and I thought a nice ocean blue would go nicely with the green of the walls. I just hope these aren't too silly.

So, those are some of the projects in the works. Next time I'll show a couple of projects that have been (or very nearly) finished.

And now for the cute:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We're still kickin'!

This blog is still working, people! In celebration of Bones's BIG birthday, I felt it was time to dust off the ol' blog and get her runnin' again. Of course, the editor was really on my case. He was totally looking over my shoulder the whole time to make sure I stayed focused. I'd say I hate working for him, but he's pretty cute (don't tell my husband!). Here he is now:

Anyway, I can't speak for Bones, but I think he had a pretty terrific birthday. We had some great friends over to help us celebrate on Friday, and to them we say, "Thanks for coming! We don't see you guys enough."

However, it was Bones's family, once again who really came through. Especially his mother, Barb. She not only gave him an early present of a kayak, which by itself is awesome, she also surprised us with a couch! A beautiful black couch that really pulls the room together. Here is Scruffy modeling it for us:

Bones was never sure about the carving because of the black background, but the couch makes it look like it needs to be there. I can't say enough about how well the couch pulls the room together. It balances out the colors, and the leather contrasts the texture of the curtains perfectly.

However, there is an added benefit that we were hoping for that has worked out perfectly. Scruffy spends more time with us AND sleeps in our bed with us again. Although he can't go under this couch, he does have his spots for "Scruffy time."

Thankfully, though, I can say that he goes to those spots less and less. So, Barb, you gave us not only a couch, but more time with our puppy. Best present ever!

But let us not forget about the good times we had on the old couch. Here is one of the last of those good times:

No, Mom, I didn't let him have the bone.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oy! What a month May was! Between the birthdays, weddings and holidays, I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I told myself I was going to enjoy the summer and since it only just started--well, I gotta say I'm off to a pretty good start.

Now, as many of you know the, the bathroom has been an anchor dragging the whole house down. Initially, it was the kitchen bringing the whole house down and before that the living room and so on...
But now NOW!

But wait, in case you forgot what I used to look at day after day...

Ok. Now scroll back up and look at the after photo, then scroll down quickly and pretend like you never saw the other photo. That's how I live my life.

So, if you'll look at that cabinet in the corner, Bones actually tore out the old one and rebuilt it. He got two of those stained glass panels off of eBay for $20! Some men hunt with bows and arrows, Bones hunts with a mouse and a keyboard. So much more humane.
In keeping with his bargain hunting ways, Bones bought the mirror from the ReUse Center and built the frame for it.
Oh, and I feel the distant drum beat of the ancient bargain hunter in my heart, too. That shower curtain? Among a wall of $25 curtains, I found that one for $4.98+tax. And I used a gift card! (Tarzan yell)

Here's a detail of the corner of the mirror. The frame is curly maple, and the spline is purple heart. From what we understand, it is particularly unhealthy to breathe in purple heart sawdust. Bones is putting his life on the line, people!

It's a big mirror, right? Well guess what? It opens up!

Can you see the medicine cabinet behind there? Really, though, I just like the picture because of its cinematic qualities. Do you see the bucket? Now just picture a hand with a knife in it over that bucket. Then picture some young blonde out of the shot pawing unaware through the medicine cabinet looking for her mascara.
I watch a lot of horror movies, sorry. Don't worry, the blonde wins.

Let us step once more into the Wayback Machine and check out the way it used to look when we first moved in.

Ah, yes. Institution green, my favorite of all the washed out greens.
Moving on. Remember when I wrote about redoing the bathroom so it was like peeing in a millionaire's library?
Well, it's totally like that.

The painting is by Bones's Aunt Margaret, by the way, who has an unrivaled skill with watercolors. That is not an easy medium. You pretty much have to go in with confidence, or at least have a lot of paper to waste.
While that is an amazing painting, it's the divider that I'm into. Specifically this:

That is an inlay and yet another example of the man's talent. The design comes from a book of Japanese designs. You have to realize that he had to carve the shape into the board and then cut pieces to fit in them.
I just love that he puts all these cool, random details into the house. Our house has a long way to go, but when it's finished--or as close as it can be--it will be one of the most unique homes I've ever seen. And whatever happens to these old digs, at least it has given him practice and a portfolio.
Maybe I'm gushing, but if you went from this:

And this:
You would too.

As an added bonus, since I surprisingly don't have pictures of Scruffy, is one of my lovely birthday gifts.

That vase was made by Bones's sister Marty, and serves as yet another example of the bottomless well that is the Dwyer talent.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We're Crafty!

And we're back! It's been almost a month, people. Didja miss me? I've been super busy, in a good way. Everything's comin' up Ann! Finally. I've got a new, full-time job. The position was just created, so they really have no expectations at this point. I'm also going into grad school in the fall, so you may see or hear less of me than you already do. But don't worry, babies, we'll always have the Doghouse.

One of the other projects that has kept me oh-so busy is the design and creation of curtains for the living room. Finally, it is my chance to shine while also adding to our house. I'm also pretty sure the neighbors across the street will appreciate them. Generally, a grand unveiling means pulling back the curtains. In this case, we're keepin'em closed. Voila!

Grand! It felt really nice to use the sewing machine again. Except for the constant barrage of Project Runway phrases that kept running through my head. Make it work. It looks home-sewn. Fer-osh. And I really think that Tim Gunn would disapprove of my seams. But I don't care. I have curtains.

Believe me, curtains are harder to make than they look. I had an easier time making a formal dress back in high school compared to these unwieldy bolts of cloth.

You may be surprised that it was actually Bones who on his own wandered into a Joanne Fabrics and picked out the fabric. However, I am less than surprised because there is someone who can sew blindstitches around me while blindfolded .

My Father!

Here is a jacket he put together especially for Scruffy:

Here is Scruffy working the haute couture with his Blue Steel gaze.

He is definitely working it.

I also have to show you my practice curtains. And just like the cocktails with a friend you've long parted company with, they were how I was able to reconnect with my sewing machine.

Hee hee. I do believe Bones was the only male in Joanne's that day when we picked out this fabric.
Well ,it's great to be back sharing with y'all, and you guys are going to be stoked, STOKED when you see the latest project that Bones has been working on.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


So obviously many of you are pet owners yourselves, and this got me to thinking...What if instead of constantly barraging you with pictures of Scruffy like some grandmother with a wallet full of pictures and a linty lozenge in her pocket, that I post some of your pets? They would be known as FoSs. Friends of Scruffy.

Just email pictures of your little ones to me at, and I'll post them at my discretion. Right now, it will just be an experiment. Depending on the response, or if someone gets mad at me for not posting darling Rover, or whatever, than I'll stop.
And try not to clog up my email with huge files! And get off my lawn!

Sorry, the inner curmudgeon got out for a second there.

Include some information when you send your pictures. Things like your pet's name (obvy) and their breed. Do their turn-ons include long walks on the beach and fire hydrants? Do their turn-offs include guys who are fake and vacuum cleaners? Whatever you'd like to include.
Ok, this should be fun! (fingers crossed)